Map of Medicine, part of Hearst Health International, today announces the launch of an innovative care pathways and e-referral programme in Cumbria. The announcement was made by Dr Andrew Jones, Medical Director at Hearst Health International at the CCIO Network site visit to Sedbergh Medical Centre in Cumbria.

Dr Jones said: “We’re delighted to be helping Cumbria CCG to drive forward their integrated care strategy. Our ability to adapt Map of Medicine’s high quality clinical guidance to meet the specific needs of healthcare organisations, such as the NHS in Cumbria, combined with our unique technology, enables us to pioneer the integration of e-referrals between providers through care pathways – making the process, faster, easier and built around local best practice.”

NHS Cumbria CCG sought an e-referral solution that would enable paperless referrals across all health and care organisations in the region. A critical component of the deployment was enabling of high-quality, clinically relevant local care pathways through Map of Medicine’s Map Referrals solution, and making them available at the point of care.

Map Referrals is part of Cumbria’s digital health strategy, which is partly funded by the Safer Hospitals, Safer Wards Technology Fund. Through this strategy, Cumbria aims to transform the way in which referrals are managed across primary care, acute trusts, community and mental health trusts, and to enable commissioners and providers to proactively identify and manage blockages in patient flow.

Through a comprehensive development programme with Map of Medicine, a broad range of clinical topics have been developed and adapted from best practice evidence. The visual algorithmic care pathways include guidance on commonly encountered and long-term conditions such as Low back pain and Asthma; as well as localised guidance on 2 week wait referrals, and local referral protocols for procedures of limited clinical value. In total, 75 care pathways and referral templates were developed and reviewed within 5 months.

Map Referrals, a referral management solution which integrates with GP patient management systems, allows access to pre-populated local referral forms, referral criteria and care pathways at the point of care. Map Referrals tackles the issues of referral bounce backs and variation in patient care, and helps CCGs to significantly reduce time spent on administration. Direct referral into provider organisations is enabled by Hearst Health International’s partner Strata Health through patient flow software. Healthcare professionals, such as GPs, district nurses, and community hospital staff can now access local care guidance via the patient record in EMIS Web and INPS Vision.